Uncontested races lead to write-ins

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2019

By Diana McFarland


Democrats swept the Commonwealth in the Nov. 5 election, giving the party newly found power in the Senate, House and Governor’s mansion.

Isle of Wight, however, remained solidly Republican, sending Del. Emily Brewer, 64th, back to Richmond for a second term.

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Isle of Wight’s two Republican senators will also return to the statehouse in January — Sen. Tommy Norment, 3rd, and Sen. John Cosgrove, 14th, as will Democratic Sen. Louise Lucas, 18th, who ran unopposed. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Although Brewer won the county overall, she did not prevail in every precinct in Isle of Wight. Her challenger, Democrat Michele Joyce, took the Rushmere, Pons and Camps Mill precincts.

This year’s general election included numerous local races, many of which were unopposed. 

Uncontested races generally result in more write-in votes, said Isle of Wight County Registrar Lisa Betterton. 

“People like choices,” she said. 

The seven uncontested races — Windsor District supervisor and School Board representative, sheriff, commonwealth’s attorney, commissioner of revenue, treasurer, and Lucas, resulted in a combined total of 1,039 write-in votes. 

Betterton said there wasn’t one name that appeared most frequently. 

“It was a bunch of random names,” she said. 

Overall, 43 percent of Isle of Wight County’s eligible voters turned out for the election — up from 35 percent four years ago. 

The 2015 election was notable for its three highly tense supervisor races, as well as contentious sheriff and commonwealth’s attorney races. 

The three supervisor candidates who ran in 2015 — Dick Grice, William McCarty and Joel Acree — did so on vote the incumbents out-style campaigns, following two years of one controversy after another. 

This time, two were opposed, but easily hung on to their seats for another term. 

The precinct with the highest turnout was Bartlett at 46 percent, followed by Cypress Creek, 45 percent, and Smithfield, 44 percent. 

The lowest voter turn-out was in Zuni, with 36 percent. 

Bartlett, Cypress Creek and Smithfield included the contested Newport and Smithfield supervisor races, as well as the Newport and Smithfield School Board seats. {/mprestriction}